Market News

About Peppers…

Summer is for red, ripe, juicy tomatoes.  It is also for PEPPERS: hot, mild, red, green, yellow, round, long, thin and fat.

Most commonly found at the Farmers’ Market are bell peppers and jalapeño peppers with an occasional poblano and pimiento.

Vendors cater to the tastes of their customers which tends to run from mild to no heat at all.  However, for the fearless there are breads, jams, jellies, salsas and cookies are available with hotter peppers such as habañeros (also called Scotch bonnets).

My friend Martin Simon, an expert on peppers, makes his own chipotle powder by smoking and then drying red jalapeños He uses these peppers to make chipotle en adobo,  chipotle salsa and chipotle jam.  He asked our vendors why they didn’t have red jalapeños.  He found out that there is some confusion about color, appearance and ripeness. 

First, all peppers will turn red as they ripen.  Bell peppers, however, will be all dried out and/or rotten by the time this happens.  So they are ripe when green, firm, and fragrant.  The lovely red, orange and yellow bell peppers we see have been bred to become these bright colors.  When buying these colored peppers, again choose firm fleshed peppers.

Jalapeños do turn red when ripe.  Both the green and red phases of ripeness tend to develop brown vertical lines along the pepper.  These are NOT indicators of insect damage, chemicals, or rot.  The lines are indicators of ripeness.

Jalapeños are sometimes deceiving in how hot they can be; they can be nearly as mild as a bell or “blow your socks off” hot.  There is no foolproof way for us to determine heat except taste.  Chemically there is a rating system called the Scoville Scale which measures the amount of capsaicin in a pepper.  Having said that, the pointy tip of the jalapeño is the mildest part of the pepper.  Taste near the stem for more accurate heat information.

To reduce some of the heat in peppers, strip the seeds out along with the membrane that connects them to the inside of the pepper.  The seeds themselves have no heat but the membrane is the source of the heat.  Wear gloves to take seed/membranes out of peppers.  FYI, if you choose NOT to wear gloves, do NOT touch your eyes, nose, or privates. 

Martin needs about 50 lbs of red jalapeños for drying.  Respond to this website if you are able to let the green jalapeños ripen to red.   I will let Martin know so he can buy them from you.

Janean Bowen

Market News

Sample Curbside Order: start to finish

It is Friday at 8AM. You get an email from AFM listing vendors and their products that will be available at Saturday’s Market.

  1. Vendor A will have lettuce, spinach, peas. His contact is to text: 877-456-7890 to place an order for curbside.

2. Vendor B will have fruit pies, cinnamon rolls, and jams. Her contact is email: to place an order.

3. Vendor C will have coffee and donuts. This vendor is not participating in Curbside.

You decide to pre-order spinach and peas from Vendor A. You want 2 bunches of spinach and 1 pint of peas. So you text him your order (be specific) at 10 AM. (Remember you must notify the vendor BEFORE noon of the day you get the email).

Vendor A gets your text at 10:05AM with your order. He know he will have these items for you tomorrow between 10-11AM. He texts you back by 8PM that evening telling you that he has what you want in the amounts you requested. He also tells you what you will need to pay.

It is 10AM on Saturday at the Market. You arrive at Vendor A’s location, park along Main Street, just in front of his vehicle. You know you are in the right place because you used the vendor map provided in the email. You text him to let him know you are ready for your Curbside Pick-up. He finishes with a customer then gets your order and brings it to you. Because you are a good customer, you have exactly the right combination of vouchers, tokens, money needed. Some vendors have their own card readers for credit/debit cards.

You have your product, the vendor has been paid and has gone back to help other customers.

So what can go wrong?

  1. You don’t pre-order before noon.
  2. You don’t arrive to pick-up your order in the SPECIFIC TIME indicated.
  3. You don’t have proper payment.

What if you want to pre-order from 2 vendors?

Just repeat the process with Vendor B. Two pre-orders before noon, two vendor return emails by 8PM, two pick-ups at the designated time.

Good luck! Remember you can shop like always, too.